How can hoteliers capture real guest email addresses from OTA bookings?
As a hotelier, are you frustrated with OTAs supplying masking the email address when delivering a booking to your hotel – and then modifying them once you’ve managed to get the real address?
Guestline, the leading hopsitality technology provider, provides hoteliers with a means to populate their system with the correct guest email address – to improve the guest journey, drive direct bookings and enhance guest communication
OTA’s argue that it offers a better guest experience, routing correspondence through their own platforms by masking the guest email address. However, they provide hoteliers with a temporary email address (which expires after the guest stay) and they also have a habit of stripping the content of emails, removing hyperlinks and trimming URLs so they no longer function.
This presents obvious challenges - guests can’t complete the digital registration process (when the hotel sends a communication asking the guest to check-in online, the guest is unable to access it) and it prevents any future correspondence direct with the guest.
Updating the email address in your PMS
Hoteliers are a tenacious bunch and often find innovative ways to circumvent the barriers placed by their so called “partners”. Whether it be during the digital registration or the check-in process, they will acquire the guests real email address and diligently input this into the PMS.
However, OTAs have a habit of sending modifications. The update logic will spot that modification has different profile details (email address) and will dutifully unlink the lovingly updated one and replace it with a shiny new, incorrect, profile. You’ve now lost the true guest details and caused a duplicate. Even if that modification didn’t take place, the next time they stay, the system would not find the existing “true” profile and would cause a duplicate.
What do you do when the OTA then modifies the email address?
When we receive one of these masked emails in a ‘Booking Create or Modification’ message, we remove it from the equation. That way we match on the other fields, like name, street, postcode and telephone. So once the “real” email address has been captured, we no longer unlink that profile. And best of all, we don’t create a duplicate. We’ll therefore only use the masked email address if we can’t make a match to a profile that has a “real” email address.
How does this drive direct bookings and enhance guest communication
With a correctly populated PMS, your marketing team now has an accurate email database to which they can send promotional and news-worthy information. Hotels often sending tempting offers to encourage guests to re-book [direct] and even upsell them pre-stay with exciting experiences or treats they can relish during their stay.
By staying in regular communication with your guest, you can build loyalty and keep them up to date with all your latest news – not only will this improve guest communication and drive sales but these bookings will be made direct thereby reducing your costly OTA commissions and enhancing the relationship with your guests.
Additionally, your database will be uncluttered, and your guest profiles will be correct and secure – meaning your marketing will be more effective, you can personalise your guest’s experience and you can reward their loyalty. A win in win all round in our book!
For more information on cloud PMS and distribution software, click here.
Established 30 years ago, Guestline provides innovative property management, guest engagement and distribution software to the hospitality industry. Founded on cloud technology, Guestline's revenue generating solutions enable independents of all sizes and small hotel groups to achieve maximum occupancy at the most profitable rate.
With offices in the UK, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland and Thailand, Guestline's property management software is currently growing revenues in businesses in 25 countries across five continents. The range of solutions include Guestline PMS, CRS, C&B, Channel Manager, EPoS, IBE, GuestStay and GuestPay. Additionally, Guestline's PMS can be integrated with nearly 200 third-party solutions via an API.
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